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President Coolidge, Taken on the White House Ground

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President Coolidge, Taken on the White House Ground


Published 1924
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The first presidential film with sound recording.

Preserved by the Library of Congress from the AFI/Maurice Zouary Collection.


Run time 4:00
Producer Lee de Forest
Sponsor Deforest Phonofilms
Audio/Visual sound, black & white

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: GapOkie - - July 3, 2011
Subject: De Forest At It Again
De Forest tried to claim the invention of FM radio when in fact Edwin Howard Armstrong was the inventor. In Armstrong's suit against De Forest he got judgement when he could describe to the judge's satisfaction how FM worked and De Forest could'nt.
Reviewer: togadiver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2011
Subject: Case
It is improperly recorded in many histories of sound film that the Phonofilm system of sound-on-film used technology invented by Lee De Forest. DeForest had made an effort to create a system of sound-on-film but was unsuccessful. He turned to the Case Research Labs for help in 1921 and after Theodore Case visited DeForest's studios in New York City, Case agreed to work on some developments. De Forest then used the Case Labs' Thallofide (thallium oxysulfide) cell for reading recorded sound.

However, noticing that DeForest's system had little to no quality sound worth reproducing, Case developed the AEO Light, which proved practical for exposing amplified sound to film. With the AEO Light, DeForest was finally able to produce films with audible sound. Following that, Case Labs decided to build their own camera because DeForest continued pursuing unworkable solutions toward perfecting sound film. With their new camera, Case filmed President Calvin Coolidge on 11 August 1924, allowing DeForest to have the film developed in New York City. When DeForest showed the film -- as well as an earlier presentation of 18 short sound films at the Rivoli Theater in New York City on 15 April 1923 -- he claimed full credit for Case's invention that made it possible.

Shortly later, Case tired of DeForest's continuing false claims about the Case lab inventions and ended his relationship with DeForest, and dedicated his lab to perfecting the system they had provided DeForest, whose own attempts at recording sound were all failures. Documents supporting this, including a signed letter by De Forest that states that Phonofilms are only possible because of the inventions of the Case Research Labs, are located at the Case Research Laboratory Museum in Auburn, New York.[1]

In 1926 Case joined forces with Hollywood studio mogul William Fox to form the Fox-Case Corporation for the production of talkies. His improved audio process, Movietone, debuted in 1927 with the Fox Movietone newsreels and the feature "Sunrise", which had a music and effects track. Although rival Warner Bros. achieved revolutionary success with its Vitaphone (sound-on-disc) system, the less-heralded Movietone proved more reliable and by 1929 it had been adapted by the entire motion picture industry.
Reviewer: bratman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2006
Subject: Speech by Prés. Coolidge
What a swell speech. Obviously a very great man. He wasn't "silent" at all. Things are so different today. At least this man was able to pronounce words like "to" as in today and tonight. And I will be he even said going, with a g. I once heard a radio announcer say going and then correct himself after a paus to goin'. You have to satisfy the lowest elements. Prés C. was not concerned with pampering anybody, he wanted what was best for the country. A great man.
Reviewer: NEBH - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 4, 2006
Subject: Amazingly Modern Speech
Coolidge has my vote!
Reviewer: Donavan Blue - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 24, 2006
Subject: Taxpayers Work for the Government
In 2006, President George Bush should watch this film and be reminded that the people must work many days for the government to pay the taxes that are needed to cover the country's expenditures.
Reviewer: B. Durham - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 25, 2005
Subject: Phonofilm information
Lee de Forest's Phonofilm system was actually sound-on-film, not sound-on-disc. It's an amazing accomplishment for 1924.
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2005
Subject: Silent Cal Speaks!
Rare early sound film of Calvin Coolidge shot in 1924, using a sound on disk system. Beside the film history significance, the film also gives a fair overview of the Coolidge philosophy, indeed the major underpining of American conversative thought. The speech that Coolidge delivers states how big government and excessive taxes sap the prosperity and freedom from the American people. Such a speech could be given today with few changes, which in itself is fascinating.
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